Torrington Series Masterlist

Who was John Torrington? He was the first member of the Franklin Expedition to die.

Why should anyone care about him? Sit down and I’ll tell you, in a blog series spanning eleven posts and 25,000+ words. Join me on a magical journey as I obsess over a dead Victorian sailor!

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My Latest Project: Experiment 31E

Experiment 31E new logo

I’ve been coming up with stories for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been writing them down since my age was in the single digits. However, I’ve never worked in an audio medium before, besides reading a book aloud to my sister. But I’ve been fascinated by podcasts, like Welcome to Night Vale, that can tell a story so well and create the right ambiance through narration, music, and sound effects. I’ve had ideas for podcasts before, but none of them ever made it further than musings inside my head. Until now.

Last year I had an idea for a story, something that I immediately imagined as a podcast. Told through research notes recorded on an ancient audio device, it follows the tale of a scientist attempting to raise the dead. It’s a bit of Frankenstein mixed with some other influences—there’s an element I don’t want to spoil that comes into play later in the first season that is very much not found in Frankenstein. It takes place in an alternate version of the Victorian era, largely because I have been studying that era recently thanks to my research into John Torrington—and there will most certainly be some references to the Franklin Expedition throughout (there may even be a future member of the expedition among the cast of regular characters…).

In addition to indulging my nerdiness with random historical references and reveling in the more macabre aspects of the story, I have also used this as a way to channel some very personal issues into the main character, some issues that I feel need better representation in fiction. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with autism. This was no surprise to me—I’ve suspected it for a long time—but finally knowing for sure has helped me reframe many things in my life, and it has allowed me to understand myself better. I wanted to explore my own experience with autism with this story, as well as my experience with being asexual and gender nonconforming. These are things I don’t see often enough in fiction, and even when I do, I don’t always identify with how I see them depicted. I wanted to share my own feelings on these things, especially how they can make you feel like an outsider, like there’s something wrong—either with you or the rest of the world.

It has been a lot of fun writing this story, but writing is only the first step of the process with a podcast. I had to figure out everything else, often having to stop to learn some completely new skill just to move forward with the project. Acting, recording, editing, using sound effects, creating music and matching it up to the rest of the audio—that’s just some of it. But, after many months, I finally have a first episode I’m proud of. Is it perfect? No, but I like what I was able to accomplish with it.

Now, for the next step—marketing.

I really hate promoting myself, and I am very awkward when interacting with people—even people I want to interact with—so this is going to be the hardest part of the process. But I’m going to work on figuring it out, just like I worked on every other step. Hopefully, I can build a following. If not, at least I tried, and I learned a lot along the way.

You can find the first episode of Experiment 31E on most major podcast sites—it’s up on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Stitcher, and a few others (we’re still waiting on Google Podcasts, though). You can find out more, including transcripts and links to where you can follow the podcast on social media, on the official website experiment31e.com. I hope you’ll give it a try!

195 Years…

Today is December 10, 2021, which means it’s the 195th anniversary of John Torrington’s baptism.

For the past two years, I’ve shared new research to honor him on this day, but this year I haven’t had a chance to work on anything. However, I don’t want this day to go by without recognizing it. So a very happy Baptism Day to John Torrington!

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge Roundup: Week 4

And I’m done! Thirty-one flash fiction stories in one month. Each one was written and edited in a day. I’ve got some thoughts that I might organize into a longer post later, but for now, here’s the last round of stories.

Story 23: A Haunting

Story 24: Trick or Treat

Story 25: Standing Still

Story 26: The Blank Page

Story 27: Where Have All the Mambos Gone

Story 28: And the Dead Shall Rise, Maybe Around Noonish

Story 29: Carving Pumpkins

Story 30: Stars

Story 31: Halloween

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge Roundup: Week 1

Wow! I’m already through the first full week of my Daily Flash Fiction Challenge. I’ve written a story a day for the past eight days, and I’ll be writing another one later today.

Here’s all the stories so far:

Story 1: The Skull in the Garden

Story 2: Old Growth

Story 3: That’s Just What Cats Do

Story 4: The Sound Water Makes

Story 5: Cursed Anonymous

Story 6: Candlelight

Story 7: Harbinger

Story 8: The Castle by the Sea

It’s been a lot of fun so far. Some of the stories have been lightly spooky, a couple have been very dark, and a couple have been comedies. I just hope I don’t run out of ideas before the end of the month!

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge October 2021

For this October, I’m trying something new. I’m going to be doing a daily flash fiction challenge, where I write a new flash fiction story every day. Each story will be no more than 1000 words. Since it’s October, and I love Halloween, expect most of the stories to be at least a little spooky.

I’ll be posting the stories over on Vocal. Check in every now and then to see the new stories posted throughout the month. I’ve already written two stories, and I’m working on the third for today. Unfortunately, Vocal moderates everything submitted to be published on their site, and they have been so very slow this weekend. Only one story has been posted so far. I’m hoping they’ll catch up soon. But you can find the first story here. Happy reading!

New Short Story: The Unmarked

I wrote a tiny, tiny short story (only 299 words) for Queer Sci Fi’s latest anthology Ink. My story is called “The Unmarked,” and I just found out it’s the first story in the anthology! It’s also one they seem to like using for advertising the collection, based on this promo image they posted on Twitter:

Unfortunately, you have to buy a copy to read the full story, but if you’re interested, here’s a link to where you can buy it. Enjoy!